World’s luckiest owl survives high-speed faceplant

January 1, 2013 • 12:28 pm

Here’s some good animal news for the new year. A report at i09 describes “the world’s luckiest owl”: a barred owl (Strix varia) in Vermont. This unlucky bird flew into a truck traveling at 55 miles per hour, planting its face in the grill:

Screen shot 2012-12-21 at 8.27.05 PM

But it apparently survived without harm!

After being carefully separated from the truck by Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials, the bird reportedly clicked its beak a few times and flew off, apparently unscathed.

There’s a YouTube video of the report from Vermont’s WCAX TV:

h/t: George P.

31 thoughts on “World’s luckiest owl survives high-speed faceplant

  1. Sure “the world’s luckiest owl” would have flown righ past the vehicle without the embarrasing impact.

    1. Almost makes one feel sorry for all those poor unfortunate owls who never get to see the inside of a truck grille.

  2. An owl + the reporter in the field is one Cat Viglienzoni? Perfect JAC material…

    Does the name “Viglienzoni” have a meaning?

    1. Also impressive – they described CV as their Science Reporter (0:08). How many rural areas have one of those? Good job, Vermont!

      1. Burlington isn’t a rural area. Vermont may be the most rural of the states, but the Burlington area (pop. 100,000) is a crowded, busy, cosmopolitan, and progressive community, home to the U. of Vermont, IBM, GE, the state’s international airport, and so on. And WCAX-TV serves the entire state, too, where we Vermonters share a strong, common interest in agriculture, wildlife, meteorology, and forestry.

        1. Hm. I don’t think Vermont is the most rural state, but maybe that’s true for a certain definition of “most rural”.

          For average population density, or percent of the state below the suburban/rural cutoff, I’m pretty sure Vermont isn’t it (nor close to it), but for some of the other possibilities (e.g., percent of the state’s population living in rural vs. urban/suburban areas) I’m not sure.

  3. I think Santa watched over his family (those who go “ho ho ho”).

    Though, funny how it hit at the left but came out owl right.

  4. I’m in NH and had a similar interaction with my Ford Ranger and an owl. My owl was quite small (not sure of the species). It swooped left to right in front of me one dark morning and jammed his head between the top of the bumper and the bottom of the grill. I didn’t realize I’d hit it until that afternoon when I went back to my truck to go home and saw the body sticking out of my bumper. Needless to say, my little owl was not alive and was a real pain to dislodge. I think the Audubon Society was able to use it as a stuffed mount at their Concord office.

  5. I have trouble believing this owl didn’t have some serious internal injuries, even though it could fly away. Maybe I’m just too pessimistic. I hope I’m wrong and it’s OK.

    If it is alright, would this be a miracle from God? Where’d that Steve get to?

  6. Apparently the owl did suffer some minor temporary injuries to his throat and genital areas. For a week or so after the accident he couldn’t hoot worth a fuck or fuck worth a hoot.

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